Ilija Ničić started out as a footballer, playing among others for FK Radnički, but after World War II he turned to shooting, both rifles and pistols. He made the Yugoslav national team in 1956, and his first success came at the 1959 Mediterranean Games, where he earned a bronze in the free pistol. This also earned him a spot a the 1960 Olympics, where he placed an anonymous 29th. In seven appearances at the Balkan Games, Ničić won three gold medals in the free pistol (1961, 1962 and 1968), as well as two silvers and two bronzes. He earned no less than 22 Yugoslav national titles, and 37 Serbian titles, competing in his last Yugoslav Championship in 1986. Ničić, who worked as a carpenter, also was active as a shooting coach for many years.